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Staff Review: Keen Clearwater CNX Sandal

Words by Taunton Leisure

on 19/05/2020 09:51:33

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Staff Review: Keen Clearwater CNX
Have a look at the thoughts of Taunton Leisure MD, Simon as he takes on his 2nd pair of Keen’s fantastic lightweight, low to the ground sandal.


Why change a good thing if it works! Testimony to a good product is that it remains in the range unchanged for some time and that customers make a repeat purchase. In my case, I am on my second pair of Keen Clearwater CNX sandals in about 6 years, and in truth, the old ones were not truly worn out, I just neglected to swap them when doing DIY and painting so by the end, they were not looking quite so business like!

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So what’s to like?

? For me, the CNX being a slimmer fit with less volume suits me perfectly in shape and size, and they come up true to size and are comfy straight out of the box! The contoured arch and metatarsal ridge provide good support and seem to mould to the shape of your feet with use which provides long lasting comfort throughout the day, indeed you will forget you have them on. The 4mm midsole drop means you have close contact to the ground with a near barefoot feel, however, there is just enough rigidity in the sole to prevent you feeling the ground over rocks etc. The non-marking outsole has razor siping to help grip on smooth surfaces in the wet and there is enough tread pattern to bite into the ground to provide traction when required.

So, what do I use them for?

Well I tend to use them all year round, parked by the front door they are handy to slip on to put the rubbish out, get the post, get some logs in or put the chickens away. I have often hiked in rough terrain way beyond their intended use, run sections of the SW coast path, walked many km in them at outdoor trade shows and on business travel and when away, they’ve had a lot of use on the beach and in the sea. They continue to provide excellent service, and although some of the stitching could use a repair and tidy up, it doesn’t affect the sandals’ performance.

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Design and Technology

Keen took the outdoor market by storm some years back with the revolutionary idea of a closed toe sandal, coupled with styling that more closely reflected the look of a walking shoe, they then threw in some nice earthy colours and a choice of leather or nylon webbing uppers. The toe bumper for me is an important feature of the sandal, it not only protects my toes over rough ground and stops debris getting in, but it is an integral part of the sole unit - not a stuck on extra - which helps provide consistent wear and flex characteristics. The bungee cord lacing system is pretty much set and forget and works nicely to stretch when putting them on and off.

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Sandals can smell, right?

Well not in my experience of the CNX, other sandals used in my time, most definitely yes! Keen use an Eco Anti-Odour technology in the insoles that infuse probiotic technology that naturally breaks down the odour in sweat. The alternative is often a pesticide-based technology and Keen claim to have saved a whopping 7 tons of pesticide being used in their footwear in recent years. Sunshine is also great for breaking down and killing bacteria, so I find if I have asked too much of the natural technology, I just park them in the sun for a while and come back to excellent results.

So why buy from Keen?

Like so many outdoor brands, Keen produce great quality products which hopefully encourage people to get out and explore the great outdoors, but more importantly in my book, they care lots about the environment and the community and give something back. There are way too many projects to mention here but if you want to find out more visit HERE and you can’t fail to be inspired!

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Simon C 1

This review was written by Simon, Taunton Leisure’s managing director and keen outdoor enthusiast who loves anything from walking, camping, mountain biking and kite surfing to just enjoying the great outdoors. The owner of Taunton Leisure, Simon has has been involved from the very start in 1977, looking after many of the key areas of the business including the buying with a keen eye for a good product and a mere 40 years’ experience to draw from.

Most memorable outdoor experience: Camping in a Tentipi in the North of Sweden in the winter, cooking on the open fir and drilling holes in the ice to fish for Arctic Char.

Taunton Leisure Ltd, Victoria House, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 3FA Company No: 3603607 VAT No: GB 720970835 © Integrated Ecommerce © Citrus-Lime Limited Credit subject to status and affordability. Terms & Conditions Apply. Taunton Leisure trading as are a credit broker and are Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Credit is provided by Hitachi Personal Finance, a division of Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Financial Services Register no. 704348. The register can be accessed through http://www.fca.org.uk